Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Having successfully introduced Stargate SG 1 to B, I tried, while with her, to introduce her to Dr. Who.

Just before I left, I saw an episode (really a two-episode arc) that illuminated just why it is that I am so drawn to the show. After all, I must admit that some of the aliens on that show are rather silly. Case in point: the slythine (or however it is spelled).

I do enjoy the writing. Such quick wit is offered at times, reminiscent of the intelligent repartee of Jane Austin, just in a Sci-Fi manner. The actors are all rather accomplished, slipping into oft strange roles with a comfort and ease that lends believability to some rather incredulous story lines. [I find it interesting that British television seems far less obsessed with perfect bodies and perfect make-up and perfect hair than that of its American counterpart...refreshing in a way....]

Then there is David Tennant. I rather like Christopher Eckleson, the actor who played Dr. Who the first season of this current incarnation of the series. I found his exuberence for the inquisitive, intrepid, impulsive human race rather infectious. Yet, when he shifted on a dime to stand before evil and demand the agressor cease and desist, I found that change natural, rather than a departure. So, I was shocked by the regeneration at the end of the first season that allowed David Tennant to step into the role.

However, I must say that I have never looked back in regret for the change. I cannot imagine him in the stories that Christopher played, but I am not sorry that he is now here.

I find Dr. Who's habit of offering the option to cease destruction to the enemy both puzzling and fascinating. In a sense, his greatest weapon is forgiveness. Yet, in his role as a Time Lord, one who can see the whole and breath of time and space as life is and was and will be, Dr. Who is at once the defender and the bystander. He could not save the citizens at Pompeii because it is fact. It was already written. But woe to those who try to change what is, who try to destroy the world that was or is or will be. He is fierce and relentless and absolute. He is these things, yet even to the murderer, to the destroyer of worlds, he will offer the chance to stop, to repent, to be forgiven,and then to be accepted as one who has changed. What is past can be just that: the past.

I had come to appreciate the series, even look forward to it, for those reasons, for the incredible lessons of life and love and acceptance Dr. Who offers. Yet this episode crystalized something else for me.

Dr. Who has lost everything. His world is gone. His family and friends are gone. His entire race no longer exists. Everything he has come from and stands for and represents is but a fading shadow save for him. At 904 years old, he has watched his companions grow old and die. No one he even remotely cares for can remain in his life. His life is marked by grief and sorrow. They are his lifelong companions, coloring his very existance. Yet they do not cripple him. They do not hinder him. Every once in a while, as a viewer, you come face to face with his companions and the knowledge of the truth of his life makes the moment you are watching all the more profound.

In my opinion, if you can look past the silly aliens and the outrageous plots, you will find some of the most intriguing and troubling examinations of life and live and forgiveness and the very essense of what it means to be human.

His loss calls to me as a familiar companion. His world view challenges me. The writing humbles me. Yes, I admit it. I do rather like this show.

The question is...will B get any of that or will she laugh at me for the next 50 years for plucking those DVDs down for her to view?

1 comment:

ftwayne96 said...

Katie and Emmi have been watching Dr. Who on Netflix for several weeks.

Dr. Who?
No, Dr Pepper.